Reaching closed communities
For many customers unable or unwilling to leave their homes during the epidemic, e-commerce solutions have proven to be indispensable tools in providing daily necessities.
SPAR Partners in China, the Netherlands, France, Norway, India, Austria, Slovenia, Italy, Hungary, and Zimbabwe offer easy-to-use online grocery platforms. Many of these are experiencing huge increases in the use of online shopping platforms, with both the number of purchases and the average basket spend surging.
Due attention is paid to the health and safety of both customers and employees in the use of delivery services. In China and Austria, for example, SPAR set up residents’ pick-up points in affected neighbourhoods to ensure zero contact between team members and customers, ensuring that all customers were ensured a safe and reliable supply of food deliveries.
In the middle of March, a DESPAR truck loaded with non-perishable food and hygiene products delivered its goods in Vo’ Euganeo, providing essential aid to one of the municipalities in the Veneto region that has been quarantined due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The delivery, a donation from Aspiag Service, was carried out following all necessary protective measures and in partnership with local authorities to support local communities that have been isolated for about two weeks.
Supporting senior shoppers and at-risk groups
People over the age of 60, as well as those with health issues, are particularly vulnerable to the consequences of being infected with COVID-19.
Various SPAR stores are stepping up to help these groups more easily access groceries through initiatives such as a free home delivery service, bringing much needed supplies to retirement villages and pensioners. From a community convenience store in Wrexham, UK, to the Eagle Canyon SUPERSPAR in South Africa, SPAR retailers around the globe are expanding their service free of charge to benefit those who need it most.
Keeping trucks on the road
SPAR Partners are committed to staying open to the public and maintain regular trading hours, wherever possible. Together with logistics partners and suppliers, SPAR teams have stepped up supply chain operations to keep all stores, both independently and company-owned, well-stocked.
In Austria, instructors from ÖAMTC Fahrtechnik, a driver training firm, are supporting SPAR with deliveries to ensure that communities continue to be supplied with food and goods.
To ensure that central warehouses can deliver under these circumstances of increased demand, the Austrian Army this week stepped in to lend a helping hand in the distribution centres, offering welcome support to SPAR’s dedication to service communities.
Many SPAR Partners are recruiting temporarily drivers who were previously working in industries which are currently closed, boosting their capacity and ensuring the fleets operate at maximum levels to meet the increased demand.